"I hope people will get a sense of the women involved and the processes and motivations behind our music."
This International Women’s Day, Faber Music is proud to announce a tune book like no other. ‘Folk Tunes from the Women’, to be released on 5 May 2023, is a bumper book of over 150 contemporary tunes from 100 female composers from Britain and Ireland, brought together all from different areas, traditions and backgrounds. Available to pre-order now from Amazon.co.uk and other retailers.
‘Folk Tunes from the Women’ has been curated by Northumbrian piper and fiddle player Kathryn Tickell, OBE. After a request in 2021 from a friend who was looking for female-composed material to teach to her fiddle group, Tickell realised that everything on her ‘possibles’ list was written by men. Having then contacted a few of her female tune-writing friends to ask if they knew of any collections of tunes by women composers, they all said “no... but there absolutely should be such a thing.”
And so the project was launched, Tickell put out the call, and the composers came in their droves. From successful professional musicians with many compositions to their name, to those who may have only written one tune. All these composers answered the call to submit material for ‘Folk Tunes from the Women’. They all felt passionately that there was a real need for the book to exist, not only to make their own tunes more visible and accessible, but also to make it easier to learn and champion tunes from other women tune-writers.
Featuring a wide selection of Jigs, Hornpipes, Reels, Airs, Marches, Polkas, Waltzes, Mazurkas, the book also includes many tunes which don’t fall into a natural category.
Curator Kathryn Tickell explains “Although this material is presented collectively, I hope people will get a sense of the women involved and the processes and motivations behind our music. Some of these tunes were written in the darkest depths of grief, others are expressions of pure joy. There are stress-relievers, protests, distractions, memorials and meditations. Many tunes were written in gratitude – for life, for health, for friends and family. Some are professional commissions; others were given freely as gifts. Some are for dancing, some for listening. They are for births, deaths and everything between and beyond.”
The tunes are presented as melody lines with chord symbols, to make it the most useful book for teachers and players alike.
Kathryn Tickell OBE, curator
Kathryn Tickell is a Northumbrian piper, fiddle player and composer whose music is inspired by the landscape and people of Northumberland. In 2009, she was presented with The Queen’s Medal for Music, awarded to those deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to British music and she was awarded an OBE in 2015. She has released many albums and has collaborated across many genres with musicians such as Sting, Evelyn Glennie, Andy Sheppard, Penguin Café Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Chieftains.
The ‘Tunebook Team’
Amy Thatcher, Jo Freya (England), Mairearad Green, Anna Massie, Corrina Hewat (Scotland), Angharad Jenkins (Wales), Rebecca McCarthy Kent (Ireland)
Adèle Commins, Ailie Robertson, Ali Jones, Alison Rowley, Amy Geddes, Amy Thatcher, Angharad Jenkins, Angharad Jones, Anna Massie, Anna-Wendy Stevenson, Annette Davies, Beth Salter, Bethan Rhiannon, Branwen Mai Roberts, Breesha Maddrell, Bryony Griffith, Carolyn Francis, Catherine Geldard, Catherine Robson, Catrin Ashton, Catriona Macdonald, Cerys Hafana, Chloë Bryce, Christine Edwards, Claire Gullan, Cli Donnellan, Corrina Hewat, Delyth Jenkins, Éadaoin Ní Mhaicín, Eilidh Steel, Elsa Davies, Ernestine Healy, Fiona Driver, Grace Smith, Grainne Brady, Gwen Màiri, Harriet Power, Heather Woodbridge, Helen Bell, Helen Gentile, Helina Rees, Imogen Bose Ward, Inge Thomson, Isla Callister, Isla Ratcliff, Jane Harbour, Jess Arrowsmith, Jo Freya, Karen Gledhill, Karen Tweed, Karen Woods, Kate Strudwick, Kathryn Tickell, Kerry Russell, Kirstie McLanaghan, Laura Beth Salter, Laurel Swift, Lauren MacColl, Llio Rhydderch, Louise Mackenzie, Lucy Rivers, Maeve McCann, Maire Fielding, Mairead Carey, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Mairearad Green, Margaret Robertson, Margaret Watchorn, Mari Morgan, Marie Fielding, Marina Dodgson, Marit Fält, Martha Woods, Mary Macmaster, Mel Biggs, Mirain Angharad Owen, Niamh Ní Charra, Olivia Ross, Pam Bishop, Patsy Reid, Patsy Seddon, Rachael McShane, Rachel Cross, Rachel Newton, Róisín Ward Morrow, Rona Wilkie, Rowan Rheingans, Ruth Angell, Sarah Allen, Sarah McFadyen, Sarah Northcott, Sophy Ball, Stacey Blythe, Sue Harris, Susie Cochrane, Tamsin Elliott, Tina Jordan Rees, Valerie Bryan, Vicki Swan, Zoe Conway